Schoolhouse Beat

Tougher gun laws in Chicago aim to protect students traveling through risky areas

In an effort to safeguard students forced to travel farther because of school closings, the Chicago City Council has strengthened the city's assault weapons ban and imposed stiffer fines for gun crimes near schools and along “Safe Passage” routes. The Chicago Sun-Times says the Safe Passage ordinance aims to reassure parents of students forced to travel greater distances to school, sometimes through rival gang turf, by creating “school safety zones” within 1,000 feet of a school. The zones include parks and would be in effect during school operating hours from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. as well as along safe-passage routes and buses during those hours.

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